Monday, 24 November 2014

Slow, but not over.


The time spent at my computer is being increasingly devoted to scholarly pursuits.
My brain power is being increasingly focussed on writing my thesis. Next year may bring more gainful employment, and hence there is a lot of pressure to work faster on the PhD.

So I am going to apologise and say that the blog posts may be a bit few and far between for the next little while.

I will be posting when big inspiration takes hold, or if there are any big/interesting events. Or if I wish to post a picture of something pretty.

But I still very much enjoy reading your blogs, and will comment.

I consider you my friends and will share your colour, ups, downs, house renovations and your quest to find pleasure in the little things. I will remain out-n-about on social media. I won't be far away.

All the very best in preparation for a wonderful festive season.
Big hugs and much love
C xxxxx

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Goody 2 shooz.

Greetings, interweb friends!

I've been rather slackola on the bloggy front of late, but I've been very good in other aspects of my life....

Lately, if a day goes by where I don't run, I crave it. The thing I like doing at the moment, run wise, is going to Prinny park and doing a Fartlek session (it has nothing to do with botty toots). And, as with everything, there is an app for that. I am also actually enjoying my group sessions and look forward to them.

Must be the time of the year, with the weather improving.

I have performed a hardcore declutter (to borrow from FF) of my wardrobe and drawers. I can actually find stuff now.

I have been eating my veggies.

I expanded my cooking repertoire into Fillo Pastry.

Behold my spanakopita, full of green goodness.

I have taken the advice of a professorly type and been doing the "small amounts frequently" thing on the thesis. I have put a fixed time goal on the first chapters of the thesis (Dec 3). Might have to tee myself up a special reward for it.

I have even cut back on the wine. Quite substantially. And feeling better for it.

I have been loving the guts off this stuff:

image from coles online. No artificial sweetener.

I have been appreciating the abundance of spring.

However the goodness went out the window today - we went to Taste of Melbourne for some good food and drink, and plenty in the way of champers.

At the back was the dish of the day- the soft shell crab souvlaki from the Gazi stand. I have never been able to get into Gazi, so it was great to try some of their food. In front is a braised wallaby bun!

We saw a whole lamb being butchered ("oh, so that's where those chops come from").
It's good to have a feel for the provenance of the produce, is it not?

Ok so there was also good food had last night. I have been a bit obsessed with all things mozzarella/ bocconcini at the moment. But the king of them all is burrata. Like a sac of creamy milky goodness.

Here is a gnocchi dish I ate last night, with Burrata.

The sac was cut open and all the runny cheesy goodness leached out into the tomato sauce. Very simple and very good!

But it's back on the straight and narrow tomorrow....

Meanwhile, we have been in full spin mode with the state election in Victoria. Pretty much all of the ads have been focussed on lambasting other parties rather than what the party can offer. It's just a race to the bottom, mostly. Though the Greens look like they might nab a few lower house seats in the inner city, unless the dirty preference deals between the major parties scupper them.

off to beddy-byes....

What about you? What have you been obsessed with lately? 
And what good habits have you adopted?

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Less meh, more vegies. Adult acne.

Hi All.

My Meh of last week has settled and I am feeling a bit more raring to go.
I have started project "optimum health for hopefully getting up the duff (and also for me)".

I do 3 by group training sessions a week, but have started doing a couple of other 0.5-1 hour workouts per week as well. Hence my exercise is very good.

Eating optimally (and drinking wine judiciously) is a bit more of a challenge. I thought "I know what to do" but I went and picked the brain of a dietitian at work. She showed me the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. She also encouraged the cut right back on wine thing, and finally, I have.

Here is what one should be eating.

And Here are the serving sizes - I draw your attention to a serve of cooked pasta being half a cup!

The most challenging thing, and the thing I have been concentrating on, is getting the five serves of vegetables in! The thing with eating more veg is that it is completely non-controversial - there is lots of quibbling about other diet related things but just about everyone in the know agrees on this!

If those 5 serves were all potatoes, I would have no problem, I think.

It is quite sobering to think of how our usual dietary patterns deviate from this, even if we think we eat reasonably well.

I am clearly going through my awkward phase from 12-45. I have experienced a surge in what can only be described as zits.

I had pretty bad acne which was at its worst around age 17. It kept potentially interested boy-folk away so that I could study. A blessing in disguise. I have always been glass half full.

Much of the more effective vitamin A based stuff is off limits for me. My skin gets a bit oily but is still very sensitive, and that benzoyl peroxide based stuff just about burns my face off.

I saw an infomercial about this, so I went and got a starter kit from Woolies. It retails for 30 bux.

Image via Terry White Chemists.

It is based on salicylic and glycolic acids. It is a wee bit drying, but less so than other acne treatments. If my skin gets a bit dry I skip straight from the cleanser to the repair cream. My skin looks a bit glowy after I put it all on.

So far, so good.

Sundee night, big week ahead.

So tell me....
Do you have the worst case scenario of wrinkles and zits or are you blessed with baby skin?
What skin products do you swear by?
How well does your dietary intake match with the official recommendations? (Fess up, no judgement here)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

All the pretties (Or: A remedy for meh)


Things have been chugging along in life quite uneventfully, which is great.

I have been feeling a bit "meh" though, for various reasons.

That is a feeling of "meh" is neither good nor bad. It's okay, I'm okay! Things don't have to be ecstatic and exciting all the time. However, it is particularly now that I try and take pleasure in the smaller things.

Like having my family over in our backyard for a barbecue last weekend. Bella had her first canine visitor, and the two dogs did happy laps in the backyard. The weather was beautiful.

Our garden, like the whole neighbourhood, is bursting forth with blooms in a rather riotous fashion.

And, for the first time since I was about, I don't know, 4, I picked a posy, and did some floristry. Behold.

I had been procrastinating about getting my hair done, but went and attended it on Thursday. I had a lovely wander about South Melbourne. I had some lunch alfresco at the South Melbourne Market.

I had a Paella Valenciana. Having been to Valencia, I can say that this Paella was better. Al dente grains of rice, a flavoursome base and tender chicken and seafood. The only thing missing was a squeeze of lemon to cut through the richness and match the seafood. It tasted all the better for it being consumed outside on a nice day.

I bought a little trinket - the Misuzi bar necklace, in gold (image courtesy of

I was very thrilled to learn that the little shop I bought it from (Mr. Darcy on Coventry St in South Melbourne) is one frequented by one Asher Keddie!

I have been to a couple of hens parties recently. For one of them, I donned a frock that I won from a competition on the blog iCurvy back in June. I got to pick one of three dresses (here) hand made to measure by  Audrey Lane (or more correctly the designer Ann Martin). She specialises in whimsical tea dresses which fit and flatter all shapes. I have to say, I am not really a girly-girl, but I felt really special in this dress, like I walked straight off the set of Mad Men, and also felt the need to twirl in it.

See? Made for twirling in!

It was comfortable, flattering and fit beautifully. It is a thick cotton, well made, and was firm enough to smooth bumpy bits. I wore it with some plain pointed black heels, and minimal accessories. Red lippy was mandatory. I picked the dress because of the beautiful lace detail.

Ann was lovely and helpful to deal with, and she rechecked all of my measurements (some I gave were dodgy). The dress came quickly, the delay was in me finding the appropriate location to wear it.

I might just have to take it out dancing next time. Or to a garden wedding.  Or I could work it back with a black jacket and heels to wear to work.

Had I been interested in horse racing, I could've worn it to Derby day yesterday, the theme colours there being black and white. The people watching on the train into town was, as my mate FF would say "11/10". There was lots of bare skin on show, and the weather was a quite chilly; there might have been some frostbite occurring!

Now I am going to do some hardcore decluttering of my wardrobe (there using FF parlance again). I have the first world issue of a jammed closet and not a thing to wear. I have a colleague who has had a very rough last 2 years, culminating in some major surgery. I am going to weed out some stuff that I don't wear and she might like, to hopefully up her mojo. She deserves it.

I am looking forward to having a short, broken week, on account of cup day. I plan to write an abstract (like a precis of a full scientific paper) to submit to a conference. Here is hoping for some writing inspiration!

What have you got on for the week? Anything exciting? Tell me!